How Do You Challenge Yourself?

The Trans-Canada is the world’s longest highway. Canada has more lakes than every other country combined. Icebergs are frequently seen in the harbours of small towns in Newfoundland, along ‘Iceberg Alley’. Wood Buffalo National Park in Alberta is larger than Switzerland. The Canadian motto ‘A Mari Usque ad Mare’ means ‘From sea to sea’. I am terribly unfit.
All of the statements above culminate in a personal challenge. On January 1st, I found myself with one of the most ridiculous resolutions, and unlike the time I swore to invent time travel when I was 10, I intend to keep this one. On August 5th, I will be setting off from Cape Spear in Newfoundland in a car with a few others, and we will camp all the way to Pacific Rim National Park. We will be taking on the country’s greatest hikes in over 15 National Parks and 20 Provincial Parks, and exploring each region we travel through based on suggestions gathered in the months leading up to our departure via social media. We will be ‘socially broadcasting’ our journey the entire way. Rather than producing a web-series, and struggling to sell a modern audience on setting aside 5 minutes every few days to watch it, we will be publishing snippets of the adventure across a handful of social media services. Our updates will be interwoven between the postings of your families, friends, and idols. This way there’s nothing being asked of you to support and join in our adventure apart from clicking ‘follow’ or ‘like’.
For me, this means I need to be able to tackle these 35+ hikes. Up to this point in my life, my fitness level has been based on getting around by bicycle. When I’m riding a bike, I can just sit there for a few minutes, take a drink of water, look around, all without pedalling. I can ride for hours, and I think this is why. Performing that same action while hiking would be the equivalent of stopping abruptly, throwing my pack on the ground (which could contain a tent, all of my group’s food, and the liters of water we need to cook it with), and gasping for air. This is the reason why biking will not prepare me for the hiking challenges ahead. Apart from the time I will be dedicating to networking with tourism bureaus, gathering suggestions from fans across the country on Facebook and Twitter, and doing my best to promote our project, I will need to get fit enough to comfortably carry a pack on this adventure. Adding to the challenge is the fact that I have a very fast metabolism, which means that any sort of fitness activity I take on will require me to eat almost twice as much food as usual, otherwise I will just start losing weight. That will get expensive, and at first it will mean eating small meals frequently throughout the day. I can’t just drink protein shakes, it needs to be healthy food in appropriate portions, and I need to do more than just walk or run. All of the work that people put into speeding up their metabolism? I need to reverse that in myself, instead of burning off everything I eat as soon as I’ve eaten in. I know what you’re thinking! ‘Poor skinny guy can’t catch a break, stop complaining.’ But in the end, my BMI is below average, and I need to add muscle to my 6 foot (5 foot 11) frame to make it possible to take on the challenges I have set for myself.
This summer, we are taking on the ultimate Canadian challenge. It’s laid out in our country’s motto, ‘From Sea to Sea’. The Great Canadian Journey sets off in August, and you should start following along as we begin to catalog the country’s own favourite hikes and adventures!  
Liquid error (sections/article-template.liquid line 101): internal
Liquid error (sections/article-template.liquid line 129): internal

Leave a comment

Your comment has been sent. It will be visible once the shop owner has accepted it!

All comments are moderated before being published